The madness of Gypsy Tart

According to Einstein, the definition f doing the same twice and expecting different results is insanity. Welcome, my friends, to insanity in a pastry case.

For MoFo today, 'make a food from your own country, state, or hometown', I thought I'd make the only food I know that was dreamed up in my county: Gypsy tart. Gypsy tart is so bad for you, if someone dreamed it up nowadays, it would come with an age rating and a health warning. Back when I was a kid, it was a staple on school dinner menus. Since then, it's fallen out of favour - which is probably a good thing for the dental health of the county - and you rarely see it now. Time for a gypsy tart come back!

Gypsy tart is a pastry case filled with a mousse like filling of muscovado sugar mixed with condensed and evaporated milk. It's basically mostly sugar and fat: as close to atheroma as you can get in a dessert. 

For some reason, I thought I'd try and make a vegan version a few months ago. I can't remember what I used, but the filling didn't set, and I ended up with some sewage-coloured liquid sloshing around in the pastry. It was one of the few things that I've made that was so bad - so thoroughly unsalvageable - that it had to go straight in the bin. 

So, for this MoFo prompt, I thought I'd try my hand at making another one. I blind baked a pastry case, mixed up some soy milk I'd evaporated myself with a tin of Wing Yip condensed coconut milk, muscovado sugar, and some Follow Your Heart vegan egg to bring it all together. Can you guess what happened when I poured in the filling and left it to cook for 20 minutes? Yep, I took it out of the oven, and what should have been a soft, coffee coloured mousse tart was in fact some sewage-coloured liquid sloshing around in pastry. Yep, it was a baking fail of the worst proportions. I could have cried. Insanity had come to my kitchen.

Only this time, I didn't lob it all into the bin. I wondered what I could do to rescue this horror. What's the one substance in my cupboard that I know can suck up liquid like a sponge? Coconut flour! I've got two bags in my cupboard that I've not yet been able to put to good use, so I was pretty chuffed I could find a new recipe to use it in.

I stirred a few tablespoons into the effluent-effect filling, popped it back into the oven, waited patiently... only to find that the filling had become most definitely solid! 

The texture wasn't quite gypsy tart, more a nut-free pecan pie, but it was actually surprisingly good for a tart that had been destined to be thrown in the bin half an hour earlier. It may be culinary madness, but this is one recipe I'm quite tempted to make again.

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  1. Good rescue! I don't think I've ever had gypsy tart, but if it's similar to a pecan pie then it must be good. How do you find the Wing Yip condensed milk? Recommended for baking?

  2. I've never heard of this but it sounds pretty incredible! It does look like nut-less pecan pie and I'm glad coconut flour could come to the rescue :-)

  3. Oh dang what an intense sounding tart! And beautiful crust, btw

  4. Maybe it was an improvement on the original. Were you to taste one of the deadly vintage tarts, you would be better able to judge. :D

  5. How interesting, I've never heard of a gypsy tart before. Great job on saving it! With my non-existent baking skills, I would have given up on it after the first time. :-)

  6. Great save and you could even convince yourself that the coconut flour gave it some healthy properties :-) I'd definitely have a slice of that!

  7. I grew up on gypsy tarts, when I moved to the Midlands everyone thought we where making it up, no one had heard of a gypsy tart. Omg it's heaven. We did make some original ones to prove we wasn't insane and hadn't made it up. I grew up in South East Kent and haven't seen them anywhere else.


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